WATCH: Elijah Cummings Tears Into Trump DHS Chief Over Treatment of Migrant Children For 11 Straight Minutes
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) tore into Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan over the Trump administration’s family separation policy and treatment of migrant children at detention facilities, and McAleenan’s insistence that the agency performed well in these areas.
At a House hearing on Thursday, Cummings ripped into McAleenan for over 10 minutes, detailing the results of several government reports that showed DHS failures in reuniting migrant children with their parents, and terrible conditions at border detention facilities.
But the exchange reached a crescendo about halfway through when Cummings derided McAleenan for defending his agency’s performance in the face of those reports.
Can you understand where we hear that kind of information, listening to the IG who is independent, see and listen to our colleagues who have been there right on the ground, and then we hear that you’re talking about a database, and there’s no database, that seems to go in the opposite direction of transparency?” Cummings said.
“And therefore, when we hear about stories coming out from you and your agency that everything is pretty good, and you’re doing a great job,” Cummings added, then asked “You feel like you’re doing a great job, right? Is that what you said?”
“We’re doing our level best in a very challenging…” McAleenan replied, but Cumings cut him off.
“What does that mean?” Cummmings bellowed. “What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces? Can’t take a shower? Come on man. What’s that about?”
“None of us would have our children in that position,” Cummings said, becoming visibly emotional. “They are human beings.”
Cummings went on to say that “We are the United States of America. We are the greatest country in the world. We are the ones that can go anywhere in the world and save people. Make sure that they have diapers, make sure that they have toothbrushes. Make sure that they are not laying around defecating in some silver paper. Come on. We’re better than that.”
McAleenan defended his agency after Cummings’ remarks, saying that the separated children have now been united, inviting Cummings to travel with him to the border, and claiming — in the present tense — that “there’s no one defecating in a mylar blanket.”
Watch the full exchange above, via PBS.
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